When it comes to our children, we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep them safe. That means buying expensive car seats, protective gear for inclement weather, making sure toys do not have choking hazards and so forth. Other major risks for children include accidents involving televisions, storage cabinets or entertainment centers, and other pieces of furniture. Large objects like these can tip over or come crashing down onto your child, causing serious injuries. While there are ways to prevent these accidents from happening, it is important to know what to do legally if this sort of incident does happen to your child.
What is a tip-over incident?
Simply, a tip-over incident is when a piece of furniture or an appliance tips over onto someone, causing serious or deadly injuries. “An estimated 18,000 Americans — nearly half of whom were children — went to emergency rooms across the U.S. in 2020 for injuries sustained when furniture, a TV or another appliance tipped over and hurt them.” These facts come to us from a newly released report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Since the year 2000, 581 deaths have resulted from tip-over incidents, and 81 percent of those deaths were children under the age of seventeen.
The report also found that 71 percent of all child fatalities involved a television, but various items of furniture, including clothing storage units (CSUs), can also fall. Other household items that can lead to tip-over injuries include:
- Unstable appliances
The CPSC notes televisions and CSUs as the most dangerous sources for tip-over accidents. Both are subject to certain regulations to help make them less likely to tip over.
What injuries are caused by furniture tip-overs?
According to the CPSC report, 55 percent of fatalities involved victims being crushed, and head injuries accounted for at least 66 percent of fatalities.
A study in Injury Epidemiology reports victims of tip-over incidents were more likely to suffer injuries to the head and neck, and then injuries to the lower extremities. These injuries include contusions and abrasions, followed by lacerations, concussions, and fractures. Most of the lacerations happened to the head or neck region, while more of the contusion and abrasions occurred to the lower parts of the body. The CPSC also notes that of all the injuries leading to treatment in an emergency room, about 16 percent involved internal organ damage.
What can I do if my child was injured in a tip-over accident?
If your child has suffered an injury due to a tip-over accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability lawsuit. If the product that hurt your child was designed or manufactured in a negligent or dangerous manner, a product liability claim can help secure the compensation necessary to help your child recover from his or her injuries.
Manufacturers have a moral and legal obligation to make their products so that they can be used safely. Remember, “in the United States, manufacturers are responsible for producing safe products or products with adequate warning labels. When a manufacturer produces something that is defective or unsafe and allows that product to reach consumers, they may be liable for the resulting damages. Product liability law is meant to protect consumers.”
In order to prove a product liability claim, you must be able to prove that:
- The product is defective. You have to be able to prove that the product itself is defective in an unreasonable manner.
- You used the product as a manufacturer could reasonably expect a consumer to use the product. You have to prove that you did not use the product in a dangerous or unintended manner, and you have to show that you did not alter the product in a way that would cause it to be dangerous.
- You suffered injuries and losses. While you may have purchased a product that has a dangerous flaw, you cannot file a claim if you have not been injured or suffered some sort of property damage from it.
- The defect in the product is what caused your injury. You have to be able to prove and show a direct link between your child’s injury and the defective product. Our York, PA product liability attorneys can help show how dangerous the product was, and how it caused your child harm.
Tip-over incidents cause more harm to children than we realize. Even when we are in the same room as our child, a tip-over accident can happen in the blink of an eye if we are not aware of which objects and furniture are at the most risk for tipping over. Make sure that your TVs are well secured, either to the entertainment center or to the wall, and that your clothing storage units are as well. Your child can suffer severe injuries in the event that television or furniture falls onto them.
If this has happened to you, call KBG Injury Law at 717-848-3838 today. Our attorneys will fight to protect your child’s rights and allow you the time you need to spend with your family while your loved one recovers. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Hanover, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg, PA. Feel free to use our contact page to schedule an appointment.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.